Iringa Rally revisits ‘Great Chief’ routes
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IRINGA Rally which revs off April 22-23 is an event that pays homage to Chief Mkwawa, one the country’s heroes.

The second round of this year’s National Rally Championship (NRC) series, Iringa Rally goes by Mkwawa Water Rally and will revisit historical routes besides several tourist attractions found in Iringa region.

Hamid Mbata, an official from Iringa Motor Sports Club named Kalenga, the base of Chief Mkwawa regime is among the historic areas to be reached by cars competing in the two-day thriller.

Other notable sections to be covered include Ruaha National Park, Ifunda and Ihemi areas, according to Mbata. Iringa-based driver, Ahmed Huwel, who masterminded the comeback of Iringa Rally, said preparations for the rally was on top gear ahead of the event’s flag off next weekend.

“We will have drivers from Dar es Salaam, Iringa, Arusha, Morogoro and Tanga on the starting line as we expect more than twenty cars in the entry list,” said Huwel. Iringa will for the first time test speed and power of the ultra-modern racing car; Ford Fiesta, an American sports car.

Huwel is one of three members of Stado Rally team going for Iringa Rally. Others are Sameer Nahdi Shanto and Davis Mosha. Shanto who won Kilimanjaro Rally twice in 2005 and 2006, said he will race in Iringa under the navigation of Rahim Suleiman.

 “We are back to teach the young drivers how to drive rally cars as we believe a skilled rally driver is better than unskilled driver with a faster and stronger car,” said Shanto during an interview over the weekend.

Shanto is optimistic about his chances of winning Iringa Rally again due to the new breed of rally cars that have proven a lot faster and quicker, among them Mitsubishi Evos and Ford Fiesta models. He said his familiar Subaru N11 is, however, proven ideal for dusty road races.

However, Shanto wants to prove many critics wrong by dominating the Iringa Rally in an old-fashioned Subaru Impreza, which helped him clinch Kilimanjaro Rally titles twice during his glorious days.

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